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Wahine Mission: First Ever All-Female New Zealand Trade Delegation Landing in Australia

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) 3 mins read

Celebrating women in leadership and 40 years of Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations, the first ever all-female/all-wāhine Trade Mission will arrive in Australia (August 13th-16th), coinciding with the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™, co-hosted by the two closely connected countries.


The New Zealand Minister for Economic Development Hon Barbara Edmonds is leading Aotearoa New Zealand’s first all-female trade delegation to Australia. The mission - named Wāhine, the Māori word for women – celebrates and puts a spotlight on women leaders in business and brings together a diverse cohort of New Zealand female business leaders.


Recognising and honouring the excellence of women, the trade mission aims to inspire the next generation of wāhine-women to fulfil their aspirations, promoting gender equality, diversity, and inclusion. The wāhine trade delegates will showcase how women in export can drive economic growth between the trans-Tasman countries.


Former New Zealand Prime Minister Dame Jacinda Ardern says: “There is a lot to celebrate and be proud of in Australia and New Zealand. This year marks 40 years of Closer Economic Relations between our two nations, and together our co-hosting of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.”


“In this auspicious year, I’m delighted that we have both a Wāhine panel that celebrates female leaders from both sides of the Tasman (on Thursday 10 August) and from Sunday, 13 August, New Zealand’s first Wāhine trade mission arriving in Melbourne.”


Ardern continued: “These 26 female business leaders represent the diversity of Aotearoa – New Zealand, such as the founder/CEO of Bennetto Natural Foods, Lucy Bennetto, tech entrepreneur Nu’uali’I Eteroa Lafael, from Fibre Fale, and Fiona Bycroft, the founder/CEO of an electric propulsion technology company, Naut.”


The delegates are made up of founders, CEOs and executives with skills and expertise spanning technology, investment, manufacturing, skincare, cleaning products, fashion, beauty, beverages, personal care, sustainability, services, and packaging. Many of the New Zealand born organisations already operate and trade within Australia, contributing to the multi-billion-dollar trans-Tasman relationship.



  • Signed in 1983, it is the 40th anniversary of Closer Economic Relations (CER) trade agreement[1]
  • The value of exports to Australia from New Zealand is $13.83 billion and total Australian-New Zealand bilateral trade is worth over $29.29 billion[2]
  • Australia is the second largest trading partner for New Zealand[3]


In Australia over half of the workforce is made up of women, yet only 22.3% of CEO positions are held by women[4]. The Wāhine Trade Mission and the delegates envision a future where leaders in companies reflect the diversity of the workforce.


The Wāhine trade delegation, looks forward to sharing and connecting with Australian business leaders and jointly celebrating the excellence of women within our nations and honour businesses and those leading the way for a prosperous and equitable future. 


- ENDS -



Hon Barbara Edmonds and the delegates will be available for interviews and media opportunities during their visit to Melbourne, Australia.



Te Taurapa Tūhono | New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) is the New Zealand government's international business development agency. NZTE’s job is to support exporters in order to grow a productive, sustainable and inclusive economy. NZTE works with all kinds of innovative businesses, including food producers, Māori land trusts and iwi, tech startups, service providers, manufacturers and more.


The Trade Mission opportunity is made possible by the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment as a part of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™.




[1]. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade 

[2]. Stats NZ, New Zealand Quarterly Trade Dashboard for year ended December 2022 (NZ$) 

[3]. Stats NZ, New Zealand Quarterly Trade Dashboard for year ended December 2022

[4]. Workplace Gender Equality Agency: Workplace Gender Equality Scorecard 2021-22


Contact details:

Lucy Roff, 0403 125 314,


Laura Jarrett, 0422 240 890,      


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